A 34-year-old man, a 6-year-old girl and an infant were killed in a Los Angeles car accident, which officials said, was caused by a suspected drunk driver. According to a KTLA news report, police have arrested Jose Garcia on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Police say the fatal crash occurred the night of April 28 near 744 West 76th Street. They say Garcia was driving a Nissan Xterra speeding north on Hoover Street when he ran a red light and crashed into a Dodge Caravan with five people inside heading west on 76th Street.
The force of the collision caused both vehicles to burst into flames. The three victims died at the scene. A 33-year-old woman and a 9-year-old boy were transported to an area hospital in critical condition. Bystanders tried to get the three other occupants from the burning car, but were not successful.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to this young family for their tremendous loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
DUI Statistics and Laws
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day in the United States, almost 29 people die in DUI collisions. That was one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades. But, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion per year.
California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) prohibits motorists from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The same section also states that drivers should not drive with a blood alcohol content or BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. That legal limit is 0.04 percent for commercial drivers. Drivers who cause a fatality while operating under the influence could also face gross vehicular manslaughter charges as Garcia does in this case.
Justice for Victims
The tragedy in this particular case is immeasurable. We can only offer comfort and prayers to grieving family members. However, in such cases, injured victims and families of deceased victims may also be able to hold the at-fault driver accountable for monetary damages. Families of deceased victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. They would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI victims’ lawyer who will be able to help hold the at-fault parties accountable.